HP team with F5 Networks to speed up cloud app deployment

Interop 2012 Las Vegas

HP is to partner with F5 Networks to cut down the time involved in configuring and deploying virtualised server applications on enterprise infrastructure.

The new initiative sees F5's application management tools combining with HP Virtual Application Network (VAN) fabric. The platform offers a set of plugins and configuration tools which let administrators create policies and profiles for configuring virtual machines and integrating them into an organisation's infrastructure.

Using the two technologies should see application deployment times cut from months to minutes, according to estimates by HP.

"We have separated the control plane from the devices themselves," said Bethany Meyer, general manager of HP Networking at the Interop conference in Las Vegas. "It makes networks programmable."

Layering automatic network configuration on top of HP's managed network products should increase the performance of popular application servers, such as Microsoft Exchange 2010, VMware-based backup and disaster recovery, and application acceleration, according to HP.

According to HP Networking's director of marketing Kash Shaikh such a platform would remove the need for systems administrators to configure settings manually in virtual machine deployments. He added that using command line interfaces to set up network configurations can require up to quarter of a million entries per server and it was easy for human input to create errors.

"You can still have one error in a thousand and end up with over a thousand errors," he said. Shaikh added that this would be the "beginning of the end for the command line interface."

The integrated technology means that networks can automatically sense the application running on the network and adapt. Meyer said that video could be displayed properly by analysing network traffic, seeing video was being passed through and adjusting the network to optimise performance.

Such adjustments could decrease spam on networks running Exchange 2010 by up to 70 per cent and decrease the time needed to move a virtual machine from datacentre to datacentre from 20 minutes to around 38 seconds, according to Meyer.

The release of HP's Virtual Application Networks is earmarked for around June. HP would not disclose pricing for the new platform.

HP said it will release further information about the platform over the next few months. It also plans to use F5 technology to accelerate other enterprise applications other than Exchange and VMware.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.